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Generator Conversion to Propane or NG

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by 308, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. 308

    308 ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Platinum Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I thought I would pass this along to anyone considering the idea of converting their generator to propane or natural gas.

    I purchased a kit from http://www.motorsnorkel.com and could not be happier with the results. My gen is an old Honda Super Quiet 3200W. If anyone is interested, and I have no affiliation whatsoever, check out their website and also apply their half-off code "HALFOFF"

    Once installed, I set everything to their recommended turns on the regulator and the gen started right up and functions perfectly. I loaded it up and ran it for a couple hours with no problems.

    Also, by adding a small petcock/on-off valve to your gasoline line, one can switch right back to gasoline if need be.

    http://www.motorsnorkel.com/motor-s...st&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=big-discount
     
  2. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    I just bought a tri fuel generator conversion from another outfit. I looked at buying one from these guys. Good to have feedback.
     
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  3. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Ignorant but sincere question(s). Why convert to propane? Is it lesser expensive than fuel? More efficient? More economical? Quieter? I'm assuming it provides the user with more options/flexibility in an emergency and it is perhaps safer to store spare tanks than fuel. Please enlighten me as I'm interesting in learning more.
     
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  4. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    It can sit and not go bad, not gum up the carburetor, runs cleaner and requires less maintenance. For a generator its ideal. Something that sits most of the time. With a gas generator if you let it sit around for a couple of years with fuel in it when you need it it likely wont run worth a damn. Propane it will be good to go when ever you need it.
     
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  5. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Yeah an Auto parts owner told me he was going thru Seafoam (gas treatment) by the case lot cause the gas goes bad so quick now.
    Propane and nat gas engines are supposed to last quite a bit longer too,no?
    Plus it so convenient to just open a valve for the generator if you use either gas already for your home.
    You can get the kits from either the power co or gas co,but the tri fuel would be the way to go if an earth quake took out the nat gas supply
    Or some Iranian hacker decides to mess with the gas supply instead of water:eek:
     
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  6. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    These tri fuel set ups will run on Petrol, natural gas or propane.
     
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  7. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Besides the idea that propane doesn't go bad like gasoline, there is the idea of fuel diversity.

    In an emergency situation, you don't know what fuel will be available. If you can run propane, NG and gasoline as needed, then you have tripled your chance of having a fuel available. You have a choice, and it is much more likely that one of those fuels will be available than if you could only use one.

    As for engines that run on propane lasting longer - yeah, if you have a truck or bus fleet and you run 50K miles per year per vehicle, or you do a lot of stop-n-go driving (like a bus would), then the difference will make economic sense; generally propane does not dilute or contaminate your lube system as much as gasoline. NG is dirtier than propane in that sense, and gasoline dirtier yet.

    For a genset where you are only going to use it maybe once a year at most, for a day or two, maybe a few weeks in a disaster - you won't notice it.
     
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  8. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    As for gas sitting in the carb - there is a pretty easy remedy.

    Test run the genset every couple of months for at least a few minutes, then turn the gas off. The genset will then run the gas out of the carb and it won't sit there until you are ready to run it again.

    I have enough Pri-G and Pri-D to treat 2K gallons of gasoline and diesel respectively.
     
  9. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I always see 5 gallon propane tanks for sale at estate sales and generally they're priced real cheap and most are at least 3/4 full of propane.
    When I see the ones that have the older internal threads and can't be refilled, I point it out to the sales help and make a real low ball offer ($2.00) to take them off their hands.
    Even if I can't refill it, a full tank for $2.00 is still worth storing until I need it.
     
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  10. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    The little guy I just bought, I got a twin without the conversion so I can run the pair parallel.

    I have found even with fuel stabilizers and regular operation the gas one is still temperamental. I have switched my engine powered welder over to propane as well. I have a 500 gal bulk propane tank and can fill my own small cylinders so for me it just makes sense.

    image.jpeg
     
  11. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    If you get them at a good price why not? But a 10 gallon tank will last well over twice as long as a 5 gallon tank.I lived in an RV so I have tested this before. It sounds weird but it's true
    Yeah if a guy could get a bigger tank that would be the trick. Then just buy propane when it's cheap
    So propane vehicles supposedly have less power than an equal gas vehicle,does using propane effect the welder at all? Not so you can notice under load?
     
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  12. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    FWIW - you can also fuel a diesel engine with propane or CNG.

    You would still be running it on diesel, but the propane/CNG is injected into the air intake manifold such that the engine then uses less diesel and runs a bit cleaner. Supposedly it also makes a bit more power.

    In this way you stretch out your diesel supply and get some fuel diversity.
     
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  13. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I haven't had any problem with my Honda gas genset (EB5500).

    When I went to buy it used for $650, the seller couldn't get it started, but I was patient and waited while he cleaned out the carb and got it going. Since then I start it a couple of times a year, with a couple of pulls on the starter and some choke and it starts right up. Then I let it run and run out of gas.

    I let the gas sit in most of my engines that I don't use very often, from my small truck to my lawn mower to my two 2 wheel tractors to my pressure washer to my genset to my motorcycles. They start right up with no problems. I do run gas through them every year as I use them for chores - except for the genset which I haven't had to use.
     
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  14. Sstrand

    Sstrand La Grande OR Well-Known Member

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    Interesting

    Sheldon
     
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  15. Larrytpdx

    Larrytpdx Portland, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You should use non-ethanol gasoline in motorcycles, lawnmowers, generators, pressure washers etc. Anything that sets all winter. It is the shellac/varnish in Ethanol that gums up carburetors. In Oregon only premium is ethanol free but there are places that sell "clear" ethanol free gasoline of all grades.
     
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  16. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    I just call it GASOLINE (pure gas), the other crap is Eth-gas.
    Kinda like calling an AR15 an Assault Weapon, it ain't right.....:eek::eek::eek:o_O
     
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  17. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I have in the past bought "pure" gasoline without ethanol - a local rural store charges a premium price for it.

    Premium gas typically does have some ethanol in it, especially in the winter. I run premium only in my Bimmers and in my motorcycles because that is what they need as they are high compression engines. Regular in the Toyota as that is what it needs.

    Higher octane gas (premium) provides less power in lower compression engines. The higher octane is mean to slow down the burn rate to resist detonation in higher compression engines.

    Lawn mowers, gensets, pressure washers, other garden engines (like my two wheel tractors) and such single or dual cylinder air cooled engines, typically are low compression and will run better on "regular" low octane gasoline. The one exception is a chain saw or similar engine, which is often high compression (I only use premium gas in my chain saw and pole trimmer powerhead).

    In metro areas like Portland, Eugene, Seattle, Salem (?), gas stations usually have ethanol blends, and more ethanol during the winter. Ever notice that your gas mileage goes down in the winter? That is in no small part due to the ethanol. So if you are going to buy gas for your small engines without searching for "pure" gasoline, you have a better chance of getting less or no ethanol during the summer.
     
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  18. Larrytpdx

    Larrytpdx Portland, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Ethanol content is shown as E and a number i.e. E10. any ethanol free gas will show "E0"
     
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  19. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Yes - but if you look at most of the signs on gas pumps near metro areas, they usually say this:

    gallery_nrm_1417787620-188115808.jpg

    Year round.

    Which means it may contain anywhere between 0 and 10% ethanol.

    They usually don't bother to change the sign because it is true year round, but they do change the formulation to contain less ethanol during the summer and more during the winter. That is my point - if you want less ethanol without searching around for "pure" gasoline, then summer is the best time to find it.
     
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  20. 308

    308 ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Platinum Supporter Silver Supporter

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    That is a cutie! Looks like a min version of mine and those wheels are a great add too. Good job!
     
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